The Importance of Multimedia Reporting

In Campus News, News

Students gathered to listen to one of the first presenters of Comm Week, Rob Whitfield, the Orange County Register’s breaking news videographer and reporter, Monday during a workshop titled, “Multimedia Reporting For Web-First Publication.”

“Video reporting is where the future of the industry is heading,” said Whitfield. “Videos allow you to tell a story and provoke emotion that otherwise, published in print, would simply not have the same effect.”

The workshop opened with a few videos recently edited by Whitfield demonstrating the variety of coverage and unlimited story content web reporting receives. On top of having a wide range of content, there are many stories that through print would not evoke the same sentiment or reactions as they would through a video with interviews and commentary.

Catalina Libreros, 25, a broadcast journalism major, aspires to pursue a career as a reporter and eventually wants to produce her own videos. She enjoyed the presentation and said she left feeling a lot more informed than she expected.

“I really enjoyed listening to Rob speak and watching his videos. He talked about how, in order to succeed in journalism, we have to be able to manage the multimedia platform at all levels. We need to learn how to shoot, edit, report and write alike,” said Libreros.

According to Whitfield, one must acquire skills from all sides of the multimedia spectrum. Whitfield emphasized the importance for young reporters to have a broad set of skills, especially in the fast-paced, ever-changing industry that news reporting has become in today’s society.

“You need to be able to know how all the latest technology works. Learn how to do it all,” Whitfield said. “The more you know about video editing, video shooting, web design and anything to do with multimedia or the Internet, the more you can have on your resume and the more marketable you will be.”

Whitfield highlighted that most news teams have a web-first philosophy when a story happens. Their main goal is to get it on the web first and continue to update the details. If the story still matters the following day, then it will make the paper. But oftentimes, this is not the case. The majority of stories can be found only online, which is now incorporating endless multimedia aspects.

Students like Nuran Alteir, a print journalism major, 20, agreed.

“Whitfield’s presentation really opened my eyes to how Internet-focused journalism is becoming,” said Alteir. “While I am majoring in print journalism, I have already been getting myself immersed in many different mediums of journalism and his presentation reminded me why.”

Having the whole package together, the story, video, live interviews, etc., is the future of everything, Whitfield said. Having visuals takes the viewers to the scene. Not only does it catch more interest, it helps simplify complex stories and makes them easier to understand.

This is Professor Beth Georges’ third year inviting Whitfield to speak during Comm Week. Georges said he talks about exactly what she covers in class – incorporating multimedia in everyday news reporting.

“What I think I like best is that Rob is fairly young,” said Georges. “There is still a lot of work and many careers out there in journalism. They are just not the same as they have been in the past. Contrary to all the talk, journalism is not going away. It is changing and always evolving.”

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